Dystonia Your Health

About the Therapy

About DBS Therapy

DBS therapy for dystonia uses a surgically implanted medical device to deliver electrical stimulation to precisely targeted areas within the brain. Just like a pacemaker for the heart, a small device is surgically placed under the skin in the chest to deliver DBS therapy. The device sends electrical pulses through the extension to the leads and electrodes that are placed in an area of the brain that controls movement. These pulses disrupt some of the brain’s messages that cause the symptoms associated with Dystonia.

DBS therapy is reversible and can be discontinued at any time by turning off or surgically removing the device. More

Benefits and Risks

All treatment and outcome results are specific to the individual patient, and will form part of your consultation with your healthcare professional.

Please consult your healthcare professional for a full list of benefits, indications, precautions, clinical results, and other important medical information that pertains to DBS therapy.

Frequently Asked Questions

Learn more by reviewing the most common questions and concerns about DBS therapy for dystonia.

Next: What Is It?

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What Is It?

What Is DBS Therapy?

Deep Brain Stimulation System

Deep Brain Stimulation System

Deep brain stimulation (DBS) therapy treats the symptoms of chronic, intractable (drug refractory) primary dystonia, including generalised and segmental dystonia, hemidystonia, and cervical dystonia (torticollis).

How It Works

DBS uses a surgically implanted medical device similar to a cardiac pacemaker to deliver electrical stimulation to precisely targeted areas within the brain.

Continuous stimulation of these areas blocks the signals that cause the disabling motor symptoms of dystonia. The electrical stimulation can be noninvasively adjusted.

A DBS system consists of three implanted components:

  • Lead – A lead consists of four thin coiled insulated wires with four electrodes at the lead tip. The lead is implanted in the brain.
  • Extension – An extension connects to the lead and is threaded under the skin from the head, down the neck and into the upper chest.
  • Neurostimulator – The neurostimulator connects to the extension. This small, sealed device similar to a cardiac pacemaker contains a battery and electronics. The neurostimulator is implanted beneath the skin in the chest below the collarbone (depending on the patient, a surgeon may implant the neurostimulator in the abdomen). Sometimes called a “brain pacemaker,” it produces the electrical pulses needed for stimulation.

    These electrical pulses are delivered through the extension and lead to the targeted areas in the brain. The pulses can be adjusted wirelessly to check or change the neurostimulator settings.

Operating the System

Your surgeon may provide you with a small, handheld patient programmer or magnet. This programmer or magnet allows you turn the system on and off by holding it for 1 or 2 seconds against the area where the neurostimulator is implanted. However, in most cases, the neurostimulator is always on.

Next: Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

This website is intended to be educational and is not to be used as a diagnostic tool. It is not intended to replace the information provided to you by your healthcare providers and does not constitute medical advice. The information may not be directly applicable for your individual clinical circumstance. Please talk with your doctor about diagnosis and treatment information.